December 27, 2010

Charity, Kindness and other Lovely Things


Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. 

I Corinthians 13:4-8a, 13 - Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails. Now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Charity is accepting someone's differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped. 

Luke 6:36-38 - Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  And do not judge and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.  Give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap.  For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.

Charity is refusing to take advantage of another's weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. 

Luke 6:27-31 - Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.  If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Charity is expecting the best of each other.

James 3:17-18 - For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.  And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

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